bdare

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  1. Thanks again Spod and a bit more back on topic, here is a simple comparison of the relative increase/decrease in speed for the user based tests. If I want a fast everyday drive and I can believe the tests, here are the basic numbers in comparison with the widely used, fast 74gig Raptor. Percents are taken from that Raptor's scores. I only use the WD and Samsung 250gigs because I have come down to those two based on looking at the Reliabilty Survey's and the Performance database. 150 Raptor WD2500KS P120 SR Office DriveMark 2006 31% 0% -4% SR High-End DriveMark 2006 36% -7% -4% FarCry Performance 19% -18% -25% The Sims 2 Performance 27% -14% -15% World of Warcraft Performance 15% -16% -27% Average 26% -11% -15% I'm not sure how this table will look as I don't know how to format tables in this editor. Forgive me if it looks goofy. So, following Spod's recommendation of a fast basic drive and looking at the new Raptor 150, you get about a 25% improvement in speed over little Raptor, a little more than half the capacity of the 250gig and have to pay nearly treble the the cost of the 250s! Not value friendly at all. Speed kills boys and girls. Looking for the most bang for my buck and me being a nongamer, the WD and Samsung are a toss-up. They are nearly as fast as the little Raptor for everyday stuff and big files. These drives have over three times the capacity of the little Raptor and cost $30 less. No wonder Newegg is offering a rebate on the little Raptors. Their price will have to fall fast to compete with these new 250s. The decision for me is the marginal performance improvement of the WD over the Samsung and the slightly better reliabilty of the Samsung. The numbers provided by 888 would indicate statistical significance of the reliabilty for the P120 at nearly the 5% level. Compare that to the Maxline, UGH!! The P120 is a few bucks cheaper than the WD. "So close your eyes and pull z trigger." That this drive will likely end up in my kids box someday playing one of the above games, I just put the WD in my cart. Thanks again guys !
  2. Thanks again Spod and a bit more back on topic, here is a simple comparison of the relative increase/decrease in speed for hte user based tests. 150 Raptor WD2500KS P120 SR Office DriveMark 2006 31% 0% -4% SR High-End DriveMark 2006 36% -7% -4% FarCry Performance 19% -18% -25% The Sims 2 Performance 27% -14% -15% World of Warcraft Performance 15% -16% -27% Average 26% -11% -15%
  3. Spod, thanks for the informative reply -- especially referring me back to the Testbed 4 setup. I had read it but the information didn't stick. I guess after looking at tens of graphs of useless information on other sites, you tend to develop a glassy eyed approach to looking at them. I had understood what the Office and High-End Desktop tests did, but not exactly what they measured. Office is for everyday type use while High-End is geared towards large file/long sequential reads. Correct? As I use none of the software in the High-End test, it seemed irrelevant to me when I read it. Once I saw that it deals with large files, it made much more sense and is obviously relevant to my 1+gig file needs. Now that I think I understand the tests, a fairly obvious observation comes out of the Performance Database that I had not read anywhere. Load the Performance Database and compare the 150 and 74gig Raptors, the 250 gig drives (sans the Seagate as it clearly is outperformed), the Samsung P80 160 gig drive and any of your favorite big drives like the Hitachi 7K500. If you look at only the High-End DriveMark you can see that performance improves as drive size increases. The Raptors need different treatment but as the real difference between them is just the size of the drive it just confirms the point -- don't let her kid you, size matters. Larger capacity disks handle larger files faster. This brings me to another observation of the tests. Looking at the Testbed 4 basic statistics for the Office DriveMark, it appears there is a significant amount of large file handling (over 20 percent) in that test. That seems very high to me. I plead ignorance here but is this close to the average for a normal user's activity of booting, opening and reading email, opening a browser and hitting your favorite sites, maybe a spreadsheet and a Word document and IMing your friends and relatives? (I'm sure this is answered in another thread but it is easier to ask someone that knows than wading through the myriad of posts to find the answer, thanks.) The reason I ask is that if bigger drives have better performance on larger files and the Office DriveMark has too many big file handles in it relative to actual use, the Office test is biased to favor the larger drives. I make this point because I think it could significantly impact what you want to put in your box. Look at the Office DriveMark scores between the 250 gig Hitachi and the 160 gig P80. Is the Hitachi really a faster drive when compared to the P80 or is the big file issue clouding the answer to that question? If the improved performance of the newer drives are only being driven by the larger capacity, there is obviously no reason to upgrade other than to get more space or if you happen to deal with large files (which I have said I do.) So where am I going with this. As Spod said, you might be better off with a fast drive for system and programs and another drive or RAID for large files. This is exactly where I ended up with in current configuration. These 250 giggers seem to only be faster for large files (from my interpretation, I can be wrong). With that said, now my complete naivete with RAID will shine through. If size is driving the large drive performance and there are lots of small, fast, Office-friendly drives out there for cheap, couldn't I improve my office performance with 2, 3, or 4, 80 gig drives in a RAID 0 for my system and programs and then maybe two of these 250 gig drives in another RAID 0 for my large files and or, as someone else was asking, in a big media file server? That these 250's are so cheap per gig, they make perfect sense in the latter. That I can buy three 80 gig drives for the price of a 74 gig Raptor suggests that those in a RAID 0 configuration may be the better alternative, if they are faster in RAID 0 than the single Raptor (don't know again, am asking). I have several nice little 80 gigs laying around so cost there is zero for me. As for the issue of sound, thanks for the info on the other website. I had seen it referenced but had never visited. Will check it out. This is just a suggestion to Eugene. As he obviously has the equipment in place for testing already, it seems a simple matter to go ahead and measure the sound while the drive is active. A more complete review can only endear us more to a good site for valuable info.
  4. Oh yeah and the issue of noise is very important to single users. My Hitachi is loud when it writes. The WD and Seagate are virtually silent compared against my rather loud case fan (fixing that issue today). I know you mention in the review that the Hitachi and Maxtor are a little louder than the others so, is there an objective scale you could create to give us an idea of how loud they are when reading/writing? A suggested scale for a non-idle drive, loudest to quietest; can easily hear over the fans (thrashing machine), can barely hear over the fans (lawn mower outside), cannot hear over the fans (inside a jet airplane), can hear without fans (babbling brook), cannot hear without fans (I would say Nirvana but too many youngins would confuse that with the rock band), or something similar.
  5. Thanks for such a valuable review. Because of the marginal increase in price over the smaller drives, these 250 GBs are probably going to be going into a lot of machines (mine for one) and it is great to have the information localized and synthesized. I have several comments and questions but know just enough to get myself into trouble so be kind. I have done some research on my own in the sense that I was doing a project requiring the reading and writing of gig plus files. What I found was this, some drives were much better at writing large files but cruddy at everyday stuff: booting, swap file, loading programs. I tried 160 GB Seagate and WD drives and they halved my times over my 80 gig Hitachi when writing the big files but for everyday stuff, the little Hitachi whipped the tails off the bigger drives. I ended up using the 80 for my system and left the WD 160 in for the big files (it was slightly faster than the Seagate) and backup. From this I concluded that there might be some drives more suited to the task at hand and wondered how I could determine this from the usual drive performance scores we see in reviews. I have read the description of the Drivemark 2006 tests but I can't get a grasp on what exactly they mean for me. To that end, I like the "real world" benchmarks presented in drive reviews at another review site. In those tests, they copy 300 1mg files and 1 300mg file and record the times. These are simple tests and seem like a logical way to view the speed of a drive. I would think that a drive that performs well in the 300 1mg files test would be better at everyday tasks. Am I wrong here? I conclude that the game load time tests of this review are similar to the 1 300 mg file tests but not being a gamer, I have no idea. At the same time, writing those big files is a big thing to me but there is no measure for it from what I can see. In other words, these simple copy tests are something that I think quite a few folks would find valuable and shouldn't take a lot of time to perform for a review. As another example, would a simple column for boot time differences be informative or not? If I can find this type of info by interpreting the tests presented in the article, please let me know. As a follow on I would like to see you do a review of each of the drives paired in a RAID 0 configuration. As each of the drives seems to have different pluses or minuses, I wonder if they are mitigated or magnified when paired. I am thinking of doing a RAID 0 with two of these drives although I am toying with doing the RAID 10. I can't quite get myself to believe that I need to shell out the extra 200 to do the RAID 10. I live with one drive now and understand that probability of failure increases with the RAID 0, but if the drives are pretty reliable and I backup as frequently as I do now, what's the harm relative to what I have now? The little table of reliabilty results presented by 888 was very insightful (thanks 888). If I want to build the RAID, the Samsungs went much higher on my list as their reliability appears signficantly better than the others. I was thinking of the Maxtor III and that table got me looking elsewhere quickly. A final comment is on the average wattage. By posting the idle and use power consumption, the individual can estimate their own unique total power usage. I estimate that my hard drive is idle about 80% of the time, and I can just do a weighted average of my wattage consumption using the two numbers: for the Hitachi, (0.8)(6.1) + (0.2)(11.3) = 7.14 watts, which I can then do for the others and compare. Western Digital Caviar WD2500KS (250 GB SATA) 7.32 Maxtor DiamondMax 10 with NCQ (250 GB SATA) 8.56 Samsung SpinPoint P120 no NCQ (250 GB SATA) 7.9 Maxtor MaXLine III with NCQ (300 GB SATA) 10.22 Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 no NCQ (250 GB SATA) 7.14 Samsung SpinPoint P80 (160 GB SATA) 8.2 Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 no NCQ (500 GB SATA) 9.4 The Hitachi just beats out the WD and with the Samsung a near third. The Maxlines and Seagates would be energy hogs in my machine. But between them we are talking about expending the additional energy less than a nightlite consumes. Which of course goes to one of the points in the conclusion of the article; they are all good, pick one. (I'm too obsessive to do something that simple! ) Thanks again for the reviews and any help anyone can give me to my questions.